Diet: Healthy eating on-the-go in five ‘time-efficient’ steps – meal plan
Jason Vale's HANDIEST advice on healthy eating
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Healthy eating sounds easy but when time isn’t a luxury market leaders of nutritionally complete food yfood, have shared their tips to continue to manage a balanced diet whilst on the go. And as this year marks the 10th anniversary of Healthy Eating Week 2022 organised by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), yfood has also put together advice for how to effectively meal prep to avoid slipping into poor eating habits.
Whilst carrying out their research, experts found that 16 percent of Britons admitted to being “too busy” during the week to do a full food shop and instead, one in five turn to junk food out of convenience and lack of time to cook for themselves.
Their advice to prevent compensating a nutritious lunch is prepping food for the next day.
They explained: “The benefits of pre-planning meals are endless.
“Whether it’s a batch of your favourite go-to chilli or colourful, summery salad – your make-ahead meals save you bundles of time in the mornings, after work and even in-between meetings.”
Consider all food groups
Experts advised to “take time” to consider whether prepared meals contain all the essential nutrients to keep a person fuelled throughout the day.
The best meal plans will comprise all key groups including whole foods and grains, vegetables, protein-rich foods and healthy fats, such as nuts or seeds.
For example, they suggested a hearty quinoa salad topped with chicken, avocado and seeds.
Try staying in a routine
Being organised is “key” for any successful meal-prepper.
“From writing your shopping list, menu creation, to finding the best time to get cooking – finding a system that works for you and your routine will reap the best results,” the experts explained, while recommending setting aside some time on a Sunday afternoon before of the week ahead.
Stock up and buy in bulk
“Build up your cupboards by buying in bulk – this will not only save you time but keep your kitchen packed with staples that can be used throughout the month,” they advised.
These staples can include carbohydrates such as rice, quinoa, nuts, and dried fruits.
Canned goods such as beans, chopped vegetables and chickpeas are also a good option for a protein-filled salad.
Experts noted that if time slips away on an allotted meal prepping day, leftovers are a good trick to repurpose.
“Rather than chucking out what’s left, consider boxing it up, adding some greens and using it again for tomorrow’s lunch! Time-efficient and sustainable,” they said.
Assess portion sizes
Particularly useful if you’re trying to maximise the foods you purchase, pre-portioning can be an effective way to ensure a person is getting all the key nutrients they need.
And not wasting any food and preparing enough to last the entire week is just a bonus.
“Consider cooking for six people then divide up the meals into individual containers ready to be frozen, ensuring each container has each component of the meal,” the experts said.
“Stack them in the fridge, then grab and go.”
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